Robocop (1987)

With Hollywood releasing two big-budgeted, science fiction blockbusters about man & machine earlier this summer, Terminator: Salvation & Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, I thought I would take a look back at one that was originally released in 1987 & spawned two sequels, which is rumored to make a return in 2011, RoboCop.  Directed by Paul Verhoeven, the film stars consist of Peter Weller, Dan O’Herlihy, Kurtwood Smith, Nancy Allen, Miguel Ferrer, & Ronny Cox.  This film takes place in Detroit, Michigan in the not too distant future. 

In the city of Detroit, Michigan, a new officer is brought into the precinct in order to help fight crime.  His name is Alex J. Murphy (played by Peter Weller) & is immediately partnered with Anne Lewis (played by Nancy Allen).  On their first day together, Murphy & Lewis chase down some criminals to an old, abandoned warehouse.  Murphy & Lewis separate, leaving Murphy all alone with the criminals, who are led by a crime boss named Clarence Boddicker (played by Kurtwood Smith).  Unfortunately for Murphy, he is outnumbered & literally gets decimated as he blown away from several gunshots, while a concerned Anne can do nothing but listen as she can see & hear part of what is going on, but is blocked behind a caged wall.  Sad to say, Anne finds herself so close, yet so far as she is literally only a few feet away from helping her partner, but can’t because the cage wall has her blocked off.  However, instead of being pronounced dead, Omni Consumer Products (OCP) creates a new officer—part man, part machine named “Robocop”.  When Robocop & Lewis find Boddicker & his gang at the steel mill, they manage to kill the entire gang, though not without Lewis getting shot, yet surviving.  Finally, Robocop returns to OCP headquarters where he confronts Dick Jones (played by Ronny Cox).

One aspect of the filmmaking, which I thought, was pretty impressive, considering what they had to work with at the time, was the costume design they created for Robocop.  Instead of looking like plastic or rubber, Robocop does actually look like metal.  I like the helmet with the tinted glass covering his eyes as it adds to the mystique, which is Robocop.  I also like the gadgets they gave him like the spike which comes out of his right knuckle & how the gun comes out of his right leg which has it hidden in a secret holster.  Finally, I like the scene where they were shooting targets & how Robocop’s gun is much louder & more powerful than anyone else’s gun as it just blows the target into pieces. 

The other aspect of the filmmaking, which I thought was great, was the background music.  I have always been a fan of background music as not only does it make the scene(s) seem much more significant, but it also gives the movie its own identity.  I felt that the music in this movie helped to give the futuristic feel of Detroit.  Finally, I feel that background music, especially instrumental music, is tough, as it has to give the audience the feel of the film, without using lyrics, which can be a daunting task.

My overall opinion is that this film was pretty good.  I don’t think it matches up to The Terminator, but it’s not bad.  Supposedly, Robocop is going to make a return to the big screen in 2011.  Whether it’s a sequel, remake, or prequel, I am not sure, although I think they are going to reboot the franchise & start fresh.  I would recommend this film to any science fiction movie fan.  With Robocop rumored to return next year & with Arnold Schwarzenegger set to leave office soon, I say, let’s have Robocop versus Terminator.  Not only should Arnold Schwarzenegger reprise his role as the T-800, but Peter Weller should also reprise his role, as Robocop & James Cameron should direct it.  After all, we’ve already seen Freddy versus Jason & Alien versus Predator.  The plot could be where it is the future & the Terminator is programmed to destroy Robocop, who is leading OCP against the machines.  Hollywood, make it happen.

1 thought on “Robocop (1987)”

  1. 2011 remake? I’d see that. I too like a movie with good background music it really sets my mood for what I’m seeing. As far as a VS. film thats not a bad idea! Hollywood’s done worse! Ha Ha. Great reviews, keep it up.

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